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                       GREAT RITE
                                by Vivienne West
          (For J.M., commemorating Full Moon 30/1/91)


           Still is the night, and the clock silent.
                Water from somewhere drips,
             A breeze moves amongst your hairs.

             The Bird, her beak poised, watches
                  As I caress you, child,
            With an absent movement of my hands,
                    My mind elsewhere.

                  She of the Silver Wheel
           Wheeling in darkness her silver overhead
                Watches more than passively
           As in Her name I take you and bless you;

                   And the Dark Hunter,
                    Jewels in His belt,
                  Takes you for His own,
                  Takes me in your flesh
              His magical scabbard at His side,
            Sword outraised, unutterably distant
                Yet manifest here in you...

            And I, primal woman and primal queen,
             Feel Her powerful darkness stirring
         And shouldering me aside within my own flesh
          As I call Her forth, She of the sky-castle
            Spinning dizzily overhead seen unseen;

     And I stand by and watch as the Hunter fills your body
           (you, no doubt, standing by and watching)
     As the Dark Lady fills my body and clothed in our flesh
                        They mate

          (...but I did not tell you, nor did you ask
       that this is the time of my greatest fertility...)

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2469


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